‎”For Luther, the Scripture was norma normans–the norm that norms. In comparison, the church fathers, the ancient creeds and the doctrinal decrees of the ecumenical councils were normae normatae–normed norms. As evaluated and approved from Scripture, they were authoritative. Sola Scriptura thus meant for Luther that Scripture was the only unquestioned religious authority. It did not mean that Scripture was the only religious authority–as has often been assumed or misunderstood in subsequent Protestantism. As church fathers, ancient creeds and the ecumenical councils’ doctrinal decrees passed the test of and thus stood faithfully with Scripture, they were regarded as subordinate religious authorities which must be respected and heeded.”

–James R. Payton, Jr., Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings (IVP Academic Press, 2010), pp. 142 (in Ch. 6: “What the Reformers Meant by Sola Scriptura“)

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